You’ve probably heard a lot about “cloud computing” over the past few years — technology that lets you store and access data and software over the Internet, rather than on a hard drive, a server, or another physical storage device. The healthcare industry’s use of the cloud is growing, and it’s already proving beneficial for organizations like ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) in many ways, including:
• Scalability: There’s room for expansion without expensive upgrading or in-house server replacements.
• Reliability: Automated back-up, server management and storage procedures protect patient data and ensure business continuity during an unforeseen event like a damaged hard drive or natural disaster.
• Security: Advanced capabilities, including sophisticated encryption and threat detection technology, improve data security and regulatory compliance (such as HIPAA)
• Affordability: Services are usually based on a subscription model – such as a fixed monthly cost – and eliminate the expenses associated with acquiring, installing and maintaining your own hardware. Some pricing models even allow facilities to pay for what they actually use, rather than what they might use. This is a particularly attractive option for cost-conscious ASCs, because they don’t have to pay for expensive additional horsepower now that they may not actually need for a year or two.
As the industry continues to shift toward a digitally-focused future, ASCs should adopt cloud-based solutions for their own facility, and also select technology partners that operate in the cloud. Here are some additional benefits that come from working with cloud-based partners:
• Better operational monitoring. If you’re having a technical issue, traditionally you would call the vendor to notify them of the problem, then work with them to resolve it. With the cloud, organizations like SourceMed can monitor the system more closely, are often alerted to problems before you pick up the phone, and can proactively work to resolve them before you ever notice the issue.
• Faster deployments, with less downtime. With cloud offerings, software is delivered over the web, utilizing the web browser already found on every desktop, tablet and smartphone. We manage updates remotely so you always have the latest features and fixes—and can focus on your business and, most importantly, your patients.
• Faster development cycles. In the cloud, pushing updates is simpler because there’s one instance to update, rather than hundreds or thousands spread across many customers. That means software providers can have shorter release cycles, turning your ideas and requests into working solutions much more rapidly.
• Stronger partner community. SourceMed works with a robust ecosystem of partners to deliver a truly end-to-end solution for ASCs. The cloud enables us to do that through better integration and configuration with partners’ solutions.
Healthcare is increasingly data-driven, collaborative and patient-centered as we transition to value-based care models. The cloud is proving to be an effective tool for organizations to address these changes, while also cutting costs and increasing efficiencies. Partnering with technology providers that operate in the cloud will help ASCs realize these benefits, and give them more time and resources to focus on what matters most — their patients.